Author Archives: Ingrid Tieken

A matter of etiquette as well

If you thought that usage problems only occur in usage guides, you’re in for a big surprise: they are also discussed in a different genre altogether – etiquette books. This discovery was made by Paul Nance, one of the readers of … Continue reading

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The term “usage guide”

Within the Bridging the Unbridgeable project we use the term “usage guide” to describe usage handbooks of manuals like Fowler’s Modern English Usage and many others, as included in our HUGE database. But where does the term come from? I checked … Continue reading

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Vulgarities of Speech Corrected

The HUGE database includes as the second usage guide on our list, the anonymous Vulgarities of Speech Corrected. The copy included is the second edition, published in 1829, in London. A search in WorldCat produced an earlier edition from 1826, also … Continue reading

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23 April: Correct-your-English Language Day

This blog features a Language Calendar, and it includes 23 April – English Language Day (UN). Why was 23 April chosen for this, and why have an English Language Day to begin with? As a World Language, English is important enough as it is. So … Continue reading

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Thumbs up for IKEA!

One of Simon Heffer‘s pet hates is the use of singular they: “Being a pedant,” he writes, “I regard [its use] unacceptable” (2010:110). Unacceptable or not, singular they, as Mittins et al. point out in Attitudes to English Usage (1970!), has been … Continue reading

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Your help is needed, I mean: I need your help!

I’m about to start analysing the results from the Mittins surveys that have been a regular feature on this blog from its earliest days. Many people have let us have their views on the sentences the past few years, for … Continue reading

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A Dutch letter-to-the-editor: at last!

I have been watching NRC Handelsblad (a quality Dutch daily newspaper) ever since the start of the Bridging the Unbridgeable project for letters to the editor that deal with usage problems, but without any luck. Until last night! And interestingly, … Continue reading

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